State of the Reunion
Me at 13-1/2.
Tonight I had dinner with my friend GC, who I’ve now known for 28 years, since I was a sophomore in high school. Every time I see her, I think—wow, she looks like such a grown-up, and wow, she looks exactly the same. We see each other once a year because of an annual conference she attends in DC. We lost touch for a while in our 20s but then I found her again through Google because she joined the swim team at the university where she was attending graduate school so her name showed up in meet results.
Everytime I see GC I think of her growing up with a big beautiful black dog named Beauregard. I think of her mother who was tall and slender and beautiful and commanding in a way I’d only seen mothers be beautiful and commanding on TV. How we pulled over at a gas station on the Belt Parkway and her mother ordered the attendant to fill the tank though it was self-serve. I think of the pink stone and pearl brooch that belonged to GC’s mother that GC gave me a few years ago after her mother died. I think of meeting the boyfriend who became GC’s husband in a NYC bar that had peanut shells and sawdust all over the floor. GC rode her bike everywhere then and the bike chain was thick and heavy and barely fit into her messenger bag.
Tonight we talked about about death being so much more present to us in middle age because of friends we’ve lost and because we no longer believe we’re immortal. We talked about how much she misses New York and how seriously they take customer service at her grocery in Davis. We talked about how much we both need a giant cup of coffee to get started in the morning, and it’s just not the same if it’s coffee you bring to work from home. She kissed me on the cheek at least three separate times in that way that no one really kisses each other on the cheek anymore. We drank hot drinks and asked a woman to take a photo of us and fiercely loved each other as we have since we were 14 and didn’t know yet that friendships don’t always last forever.